For William Glackens, who began his career as a quick-sketch newspaper illustrator, drawing was a nearly automatic activity, rapidly executed and broadly suggestive. For a large and ambitious studio nude such as Girl with Apple, he completed numerous preparatory sketches. Before executing this relatively “finished” version in pastel, Glackens made pencil sketches, which are scribbly in character. They demonstrate his method of working out a pose by drawing limbs in a sequence of positions on the same sheet, creating an almost cinematic effect. By this stage, he had firmly established the placement of pictorial elements and begun to finalize his palette in pastel. Although Glackens often made significant changes to his compositions in the painting phase, his unwillingness to leave anything about this work to chance suggests the impact he sought for its exhibition debut.
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William Glackens (American, 1870-1938). Girl with Apple, ca. 1909-1910. Pastel on wove paper mounted to pulpboard, 8 1/4 x 11 3/4in. (21 x 29.8cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Arthur G. Altschul, 1994.210